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Karim Benzema wonder goal saves under-par Real Madrid from suffering defeat to Chelsea

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema's goal secured a draw for Real Madrid against Chelsea
ANALYST
Modified 28 Apr 2021
Feature

A UEFA Champions League semi-final game is always expected to have intensity and, more importantly, goals. That was exactly the case when Real Madrid faced Chelsea on Tuesday.

Real Madrid made a poor start to the game and were nearly made to pay for their sloppiness. Chelsea were clearly the better side in the opening half-hour and completely dominated the hosts at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium. However, Los Blancos grew into the game as it progressed.

In the end, though, a 1-1 draw was probably a fair reflection of the game, considering that both sides were overly cautious and refused to give it their all in the final 15 minutes.

Karim Benzema saves the day for Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane and his side found themselves behind after 14 minutes when Christian Pulisic went around Thibaut Courtois to score the opening goal.

However, Karim Benzema produced a great finish midway through the first half to pull Real Madrid level.

The Frenchman has been the team’s main man since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo three years ago. His goal against Chelsea summarizes how important he is to the team.

The 33-year-old controlled a looping ball with his head before firing a fierce shot past the hapless Edouard Mendy.

Tie still open but Chelsea are now favourites

The 1-1 draw in the first leg means that the semi-final tie is still very much open. However, Chelsea were the better side and have now made themselves favourites ahead of the second leg.

The Blues dominated Real Madrid and if not for the wastefulness of Timo Werner, they could have ended the first half 4-1 up.

Zidane said after the game (as quoted by Goal):

“They’re very quick, have good players and started very well. In the second half we had more control. We’re still in the tie and we’re happy with the overall performance. We’re also good at playing away from home, we press high.”
"They’re [Chelsea] in the semi-final for a reason, they’re a good side. The second leg will be very competitive. Militao had a great game, like all of them. They’ve given their all tonight and we’ll rest now.”

Real Madrid have not been in great form recently. However, they cannot be underestimated despite Chelsea holding a slim advantage.

Published 28 Apr 2021
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